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Return to the Revenger universe, for another thrilling tale set among the stars....
Quoins are accepted currency throughout the thousands of worlds of the Congregation. Ancient, and of unknown origin and purpose, people have traded with them, fought for them, and stolen quoin hordes from booby-trapped caches at risk to life and limb throughout the Thirteen Occupations. Only now it's becoming clear they have another purpose...as do the bankers who've been collecting them.
The Occupations themselves are another puzzle. The rise and fall of civilisation may have been unevenly spaced across history, but there is also a pattern. Could something be sparking the Occupations - or ending them? And if so, what could it be, lurking far beyond the outermost worlds of the Congregation?
The Ness sisters are being hunted for crimes they didn't commit by a fleet whose crimes are worse than their own. If they're to survive, and stay one step ahead of their pursuers - if they're to answer the questions which have plagued them - it's going to require every dirty, piratical trick in the book....
"A swashbuckling thriller - Pirates of the Caribbean meets Firefly - that nevertheless combines the author's trademark hard SF with effective, coming-of-age characterisation." (Guardian)
"A blindingly clever imagining of our solar system in the far flung future." (Sun)
"A rollicking adventure yarn with action, abduction, fights, properly scary hazards, very grisly torture and even ghosts of a sort." (Daily Telegraph)
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I love Alistair Reynolds books generally; Revelation Space particularly. This felt different somehow. The setting and premise was primed for something amazing, however never quite hit it. It was either the fact that a pirate / naval theme never quite felt plausible in the far, far future or that the characters felt shallow. The latter I think. Those girls acted like no real person would in many of the situations they found themselves in and were saved by deus ex machina more times than I care to count.
A good work by a capable writer. Maybe undone by an intrinsically flawed idea.
Edit: During my post-review shower I had time to reflect on the following... I did not regret reading this book in any way and I by no means wish to dissuade potential readers. It was a good story with some very interesting and original ideas. I'm happy I experienced it. Just, don't go in expecting exactly the same level of focus on character authenticity as RS. If you can get past that, it's quite enjoyable!